From the Inside Flap
For me in some ways, they are literary versions of historical stone altars erected by the patriarchs of ancient history. These patriarchs would sometimes build altars to commemorate an important or life-changing event. The maxims of which I speak marked points in my life where I learned a valuable lesson, suffered a loss, or achieved a victory.
In the years before 1991 I'd acquired the morning habit of taking long walks or jogs as my mood would dictate. During that time, mostly during the walks, I would think quite a bit--meditating as it were on things like finances, the direction of my career, my wife, children and relationships in general. It has always seemed to me that this activity helps provide clarity to my decision-making. On occasion during those mornings and other quiet moments (like in the shower or driving), certain revelations would occur. I would enjoy an epiphany. Writing these down was the promise I made and the promise I kept. I've never been an exhaustive "journaler," but I did feel it was important to record these principles. It was understanding bred through joy, controversy, hard work, failure, loss, triumph and love.
If there is truth in saying, "The most profound things said are the things said simply," then this summarizes my point. The maxims in the following pages, in my humble opinion, are concentrated nuggets of truth that can speak directly to human conflict and create poignancy in our personal lives at a time otherwise filled with consternation, confusion and self-doubt. These nuggets can represent entire periods of time, sometimes years in length, when we might have been able to choose a different path, make a better decision and keep or give up a particular relationship--if only we had known then what we know today. They are like headlines written on the front pages of our daily lives. This book is a part of my archive allowing me, and now you, to go back and review whenever necessary.
One of my great mentors--Dr. Edwin Louis Cole--instructed me long ago to write things down. What he said was, "On to the page and out of the mind. The body will endure what the mind tries to retain." He was right. I committed myself to this and started a document on my computer. This document evolved over the years, moving from one personal computer to another, to my electronic Smartphone and finally back to my notebook computer. Now, finally, I am pulling together this collection of thoughts, revelations, propositions and convictions into a library of lines, curves, signs and bends in the long road through life. These maxims represent countless hours of meditation, agonizing moments of realization and sometimes thousands of dollars lost and made. Within them there is love found, lost and found again, joy and hope. There is betrayal in friendship, anger and sorrow. These experiences are germane to life, and when we avoid them or try to run from them, we run in vain.
At some point in our individual lives we all encounter life's diverse experiences and must simply navigate our way through. Going around the rough spots is impossible. I've heard it said, "Eat your problems and grow strong." This I have tried to do.
While I believe this book can be helpful to anyone with a desire to self-improve, I particularly carry a burden for men who--for one reason or another--have been or feel somewhat "fatherless" in their lives. It is possible to have a biological father and still feel and be fatherless. The defining issue is relationship. My father died when I was but twenty five years old. Though I was not a small child, I realize now I still was a child in many respects. He was a good father, and taught me some valuable lessons to which I cleave still today. However, maturity was still pending in me when he passed, and I felt the emptiness created by his vacancy. I think perhaps this in part is what led me to be the seeker I've become.
In the process of time I found "fathers"--men God had called to fill the gaps left in the lives of younger men who had been abandoned to some degree through circumstance and because of an evolving culture less interested in the responsibilities of manhood.
One of the ancient proverbs commands us to "buy wisdom and do not sell it." The command is to always collect and store and never to divest. Wisdom is more precious than rubies and fine gold.
It is not my intention to consider the following pages to be an exhaustive commentary on life; no, nothing so grandiose. However, it could be considered an adequate starting point. Read carefully and quietly and then re-read again. I think you will find many different truths arise from each point that is made. And, hopefully, you will find ways you can identify and relate through your own experiences, maximizing each and every day of your life. If yeast can work slowly through a lump of bread dough, then wisdom can work its way through a hungry heart.
From the Back Cover
To succeed we must have knowledge. When it's applied, knowledge transforms into wisdom. Wisdom is key and with it comes understanding that leads to future successful outcomes! Wisdom is more precious than rubies and more profitable than gold! To be truly successful in life we must prevail in three vital areas...
In "Know God, Know Self, Know Others", Christopher Carter leads you on an adventure of poignant self discovery, illuminating insights and inspiring illustrations for developing the craft of living a meaningful life.